M O U T H PI E C E M A N UA L
Vincent Bach was a rare combination of artist and engineer. A mechanical genius and acclaimed trumpet soloist, his instruments and mouthpieces are used today in every major studio and orchestra in the world. Bach personally designed the tools and composed the plans that continue to set the high standards for making all Bach products today.
C O N TE N T SM O U T H P I E C E D E S I G N I N F O R M AT I O N 3. Selecting a Mouthpiece 5. The Rim 7. The Cup: Depth and Diameter 8. The Backbore 9. The Throat 10. Mega Tone, Screw-Rim Mouthpieces 11. Custom Designed Mouthpieces, Special Shanks, Finishes, Cleaning VINCENT BACH MOUTHPIECE MODELS 12. Key to Trumpet Model Numbers 13.-18. Trumpet, Cornet & Fluegelhorn Mouthpieces 18. E Contra-Alto Trumpet Mouthpiece 19. Mega Tone Trumpet Mouthpieces 20. Mega Tone Cornet Mouthpieces 20. Mega Tone Fluegelhorn Mouthpieces 21. Horn Mouthpieces 21. Alto Horn & Mellophone Mouthpieces 22.-24. Small Shank Tenor Trombone, Baritone & Euphonium Mouthpieces 24.-25. Large Shank Tenor & Bass Trombone Mouthpieces 26. Mega Tone Small Shank Tenor Trombone, Baritone & Euphonium Mouthpieces 27. Mega Tone Large Shank Tenor & Bass Trombone Mouthpieces 27. Contra-Bass Trombone Mouthpiece 28. Tuba & Sousaphone Mouthpieces 28. Mega Tone Tuba & Sousaphone Mouthpieces 29. Screw-Rim Mouthpiece Catalog Numbers BRASS ACCESSORIES 30. Mutes, Brass Microphone System, Mouthpiece Pouches, Valve Oil, Tuning Slide Grease & Gold-Plated Trim Kits 31. Polishing Cloths & Gloves, Leatherlike Gig Bag, Leather Gig Bags, & Heavy Valve Caps DIMENSIONS 32. Bach Mouthpiece Dimensions
Choosing the perfect mouthpiece is often more difficult than choosing the perfect instrument. Your success as a musician depends on the choice of equipment that will do justice to your capabilities. Vincent Bach
Selecting a MouthpieceWhen selecting a mouthpiece, a brass instrumentalist should choose one with a solid, compact tone of large volume. A carefully selected Bach mouthpiece can help improve a players embouchure, attack, tonguing and endurance. Professional musicians and advanced students prefer the musical results of large mouthpieces, such as the Bach 1B, 1C, 114C, 112B, 112C, 212C, 3C, which provide a maximum volume of tone with the least amount of effort. By opening up the lips so that they do not touch, the larger mouthpiece produces a clearer, purer tone. The large cup diameter also allows a greater portion of the lip to vibrate, producing a larger volume of tone, and keeps a player from forcing high tones by encouraging the correct functioning of the lip muscles. However, a student may find a medium-sized mouthpiece suitable. Do not select a certain mouthpiece because another player uses it. Because no two players have the same lip or tooth formation, what is perfect for one may be entirely unsuitable for the other. Bach produces many different models so that each player can find the best mouthpiece for their individual embouchure. Visit your local dealer and try several genuine Bach mouthpiece models, all stamped with the Vincent Bach trademark.
What Every Brass Instrumentalist Should Know About MouthpiecesRIM RIM WIDTH CUP DIAMETER THROAT BACKBORE
A mouthpiece consists of the rim, cup, throat, and backbore. Bringing these various components into proper relationship constitutes the art of superior mouthpiece production. In choosing a special combination of rim, cup, throat and backbore designs, consider the effects of each. BACKBORERIMWide: Narrow: Round: Sharp: Increases endurance. Improves flexibility, range. Improves comfort. Increases brilliance, precision of attack.
BACKBOREExcept in general terms, it isnt possible to identify backbores by size because they also vary in shape. Various combinations of size and shape make the tone darker or more brilliant, raise or lower the pitch in one or more registers, increase or decrease volume. In each instance, the effect depends in part on the throat and cup used in combination with the backbore.
CUPLarge: Small: Deep: Shallow: Increases volume, control. Relieves fatigue, weakness. Darkens tone, especially in low register. Brightens tone, improves response, especially in high register.
THROATLarge: Increases blowing freedom, volume, tone; sharpens high register (largest sizes also sharpen low register). Increases resistance, endurance, brilliance; flattens high register.
The playing qualities mentioned on this page are discussed in greater detail in the following sections. Keep in mind that playing qualities of mouthpieces vary from person to person; therefore, descriptions of playing qualities are necessarily subjective. It is important to view all information in this manual as a general guide. For best results, use it as a starting point for testing a number of models, not as a substitution for testing.
Wide Rim: Increases players endurance, but limits flexibility.
Narrow Rim: Helps players who must cover a wide range of pitch.
Rounded Rim: Crooked teeth may require a rounded rim contour at the expense of clean low-register attacks.
Sharp Inner Rim Edge: Produces a brilliant metallic tone, makes attacks more reliable.
The RimA well-constructed brass instrument mouthpiece should have a medium-wide rim with a fairly sharp inner edge. If the mouthpiece is properly placed, it will permit the lips to move slightly forward and backward. For high tones, a player will draw the lips farther back; while for low tones, the lip muscles will relax, permitting the lips to protrude. A sharp rim will not cut the lip if the flat face of the mouthpiece rim is placed on the lips in (or slightly above) a horizontal position, with the mouthpiece at a 90 degree angle against the front teeth. A sharp inner edge against the lip will automatically remind the player that the instrument is not being held correctly. The use of a mouthpiece without a sharp inner edge is not recommended, as it would not allow sufficient surface to distribute pressure over the lips. A too-rounded rim will dig into the lips, limiting the players endurance. A player with a normal embouchure and fairly muscular lips should prefer a medium-wide rim, which will allow both flexibility and endurance. A toowide rim will clamp down lip muscles and embouchure flexibility, and the effect will be noticeable on quick tonal changes. Players with very thick lips, however, can use a wide rim to advantage, as a medium-wide rim might dig into the soft tissues of the lips and interfere with the blood circulation. Players who cannot overcome the habit of forcing high tones, or band members who occasionally smack the mouthpiece against the lips while marching may also consider it advantageous to use wide-rimmed mouthpieces. However, even very thicklipped musicians and marching band musicians should prefer medium-wide rims if they do not feel hindered in using them, for mouthpieces with extra-wide rims encourage a player to use too much pressure for the high notes instead of relying on the lip muscles to do the work. A narrow rim offers a trumpet or trombone player greater flexibility, but it tends to dig into the flesh of the lips, cutting off free blood circulation and decreasing endurance. Horn players often prefer a medium-narrow rim because their instrument covers so wide a range (a fourth lower than a trombone and almost as high as a trumpet). The medium-narrow rim enables the horn player to move the lips much more easily; the lips will be able to protrude for the low tones and retract for the high tones.
Large Cup Diameter: Produces a large volume and reduces risk of cracked tones.
Small Cup Diameter: Requires little strength. Limits the tone and inhibits embouchure development._
Deep Cup: Improves the tone, especially in the lower register.
Shallow Cup: Designed for brasses in high keys. Aids in high register production.
The Cup: DepthIn general, a large cup diameter and/or depth lowers the pitch of an instrument, while a small cup diameter and/or shallow cup raises the pitch. Therefore, it is important to match the cup of the mouthpiece with the pitch of the instrument. Due to variations in embouchure, air support and oral cavity among musicians, individuals should select a cup which improves their overall intonation. The correct depth of the cup depends upon the pitch and corresponding length of the instrument, and, to a certain extent, the bore. For example, achieving the brilliance of a B piccolo trumpet requires a shallow cup, while the dark lyrical tone quality of a fluegelhorn demands the use of a deep cup. For this reason, we do not recommend using refitted trumpet or cornet mouthpieces with the fluegelhorn. A player using a medium-large bore B or C trumpet or a B cornet should generally use a mouthpiece no shallower than the Bach C cup and preferably, slightly deeper cups such as a B or A. One exception is for musicians who continually play in the extreme high register and desire a brighter sound. In this case, a more shallow mouthpiece such as a 3D, 3E, 3F or 5SV may be preferable. For the Horn, a comparatively large volume of air must be used to fill the bell. A very deep cup will help to get a full low register (suitable for second and fourth horn) while a shallower cup will help produce high tones (advantageous for first and third horn players). For the small tenor trombone, a medium-deep mouthpiece cup such as the 7C, 11C or 12C is preferred. For the symphonic tenor trombone, a larger cup, such as 61 2AM, 612AL, 5G, 5GB, or 5GS may be preferable. For baritone or euphonium, it is generally best to use a medium-deep cup, preferably one with a symphonic backbore to produce a more mellow tone. Splitting tones may be an